November 4th, 2008

New Tilley Hat

I voted and other stuff

Line to vote in South Minneapolis
At 7:30am, the line to vote at my precinct in South Minneapolis

I voted!

As usual, I came early. The line was long, but the process was orderly. The weather was beautiful, and no one had a problem waiting outside.

Imam Musse and friends
Imam Musse (r) and friends on line to vote
Mpls 11/04/08

While on line, I spotted an old friend, who I had met on line for the caucuses. English isn't his first language and I'm not sure he understood all the questions, but I think his passion comes across. Imam Sheikh Saad Musse (mp3, 4:05). Even though he watched as I wrote down his name, I'm not sure of the spelling. His prayer center is a block or so from here, and I may drop by.

Suzanne and Robin
Suzanne directs Robin to sign-in area
Mpls, 11/04/08

I was on line with Robin, who lives in my building. He moved here from Bangladesh just after the last presidential election. He's voted before (if I had time I'd find his picture in a previous LJ post) but this was his first time voting for president and he was excited. Suzanne is part of the crew (and who loves KFAI!), directing traffic.

I was voter 119.

Chaz, Chair Election Judge
Chaz, Chair Election Judge
Mpls, 11/04/08

Chaz was a one-person Operations Department, who helped set-up for the 7am opening and will help with clean-up after the polls close at 8pm. I waited a while until a comparatively non-busy time and snuck in an interview. Unlike almost all the political interviews so far, I edited this one down. Charles Saxon (mp3, 2:33).

More to come, perhaps.
New Tilley Hat

Election: Second Sojourn

After checking early results (of which there were none) and wallowing in political coverage on the web and CNN for a while, I went back outside. Less than two blocks from where I live is a thriving Somali community, with two buildings full of shops and restaurants. Most of the restaurants were of the mom-and-pop variety, and most had a few people loudly discussing something. In Somali (or one of the dialects), I presume. I stopped one person with an "I Voted" sticker.

Ali Sheikh in South Minneapolis
Ali Sheikh (r) at the Karmel Somali Center. Pillsbury near Lake
Mpls, 11/04/08

Ali Sheikh, who voted in Burnsville.

Terese Pritschet, Eva Mitchell & Jesse Weiner
Terese Pritschet, Eva Mitchell & Jesse Weiner
GOTV in the KMart parking lot, about a block away from the Somali center
and across the street from where I live
Mpls, 11/04/08

Terese Pritschet, Eva Mitchell & Jesse Weiner getting out the vote for Obama and the Democrats.

Chad Quaintance and Sarah Levy
Chad Quaintance and Sarah Levy
GOTV in the my condo building
Mpls, 11/04/08

added, because I forgot Chad Quaintance and Sara Levy distributing door handle literature as part of Obama's GOTV effort.

I really didn't have to travel far to talk to immigrant voters and fired up Obama supporters. I'm quickly putting these interviews up so KFAI News has access to them and may use them this evening.

And in case you're curious: No, I didn't see any McCain/Palin GOTV, and no one I talked to (informally) indicated they were voting for any Republican.

The question for me is: Now what? KFAI coverage will last all night, but my kind of person-on-the-street buttonholing doesn't seem to fit with breaking stories about other people's votes. I'm not a Democrat so hanging out with Democrats (or any party) to watch tv stations call races holds no appeal. Hanging out with fans who are gathering to watch the news with dreamshark is far more tempting. Still, I'll either do more stories or, more likely, have a few brews (now legal on election day!) and slide down the evening. There will be plenty of interesting events and stories to cover tomorrow, and thereafter.
New Tilley Hat

Notes without coherency

I was making notes all last night, starting with Obama being declared the victor, intending to flesh out my thoughts. Alas, the morning brings no resolve.

Best McCain speech ever. At the very last minute, he reverts to form. Congrats, John. I'm glad you're in the senate, in the same way I'm glad Obama is the president.

Best tv commentator: David Gergen. CNN was generally mediocre to bad, but Gergen said intelligent things calmly and articulately.

I predicted that Obama would win by 10% of the popular vote, minus Republican cheating. It looks like he isn't going to get that. On the other hand, he did really well in all parts of the country, winning Virginia, Indiana, Florida, Colorado and Nevada in addition to the left and right coasts that Gore/Kerry took. And he did do better than 10% in the previously purple state of Minnesota, so perhaps I was just paying attention to local sentiment more than national.

My other prediction was that the Democrats would have a very hard time getting to 60 Senators. As of this writing, they have 56, with Franken/Coleman still undecided. Doesn't look like Bachmann will be booted out, nor Saxby Chamblis nor Mitch McConnell. But we got Dole and kept Landrieu. If Stevens wins, he'll be an embarrassment to the Republicans.

As James Carville (of all people) pointed out, Democrats have done really well now in two election cycles. They picked up House and Senate seats in 2006 and 2008, far far outweighing the razor thin majorities of the Gingrich "Revolution" in 1994 and in elections since. Not only does Obama have an historic presidency on his side, but liberals have a mandate to change the direction of the country.

As of right now, 11:28 pm, someone is screaming "O Bam Aaaaaah" outside on Lake Street. Geeze, you'd think the Vikings won the World Series, or something. And this is going on all night...

What to watch out for: Bush going on a tear and trying to cram his third term of deregulation, no-bid contracts and activist appointments into the next 2 1/2 months.